I think we can all agree that since the Now That’s What I Call Music! series has inexplicably survived the invention of YouTube, Shazam, Spotify, and illegal downloading, a little thing like the apocalypse that is 2017 probably won’t slow it down. With the EPA being gutted, budget cuts threatening the NOAA’s climate monitoring satellite program, and the lackluster Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act finally seeing the light of day, disaster lurks on the horizon. When the apocalypse finally rages around us, we’ll need music to distract ourselves from the nightmares-turned-reality surrounding us in these trying times, and so I present Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. Apocalypse.
“I’m in Love with the Shape Of You(r Car and How It Still Works),” Ed Sheeran
I already have trouble telling Ed Sheeran songs apart, but I’m sure that in the near future it won’t matter that his rhythms are boring and his lyrics painfully imply “But I’m a nice guy so go home with me.” He’ll sing about finding a nice girl with a working car and maybe a security system, both essential to surviving in the dark future times of our sad planet Earth. (What, did you think only America was going to implode? Nope, we’re taking everyone with us.) His occasional white-boy rapping will keep us occupied while clean water supplies dwindle, and we’ll just rest our chins in our hands and sigh and say, Oh, that Ed Sheeran.
“Yes, We’re Still Here,” Daft Punk
I’m sure they suspected years ago that the end was coming and equipped their shiny helmets with air purifiers and other essential tech to survive whatever environmental disaster looms on the horizon. And, possibly most important, they’ll still be able to produce kick-ass tunes.
“I Live, I Die, I Live Again,” Immortan Joe and The Warboys (or, even better, Furiosa and the Vuvalini)
The Harry Potter series spawned a truly outrageous number of wizard rock bands. Harry and the Potters. Draco and the Malfoys. The Whomping Willows. The Moaning Myrtles. And so on. Those bands were a creative outlet, the nerdy voice of a generation, and now, when everything is going to shit, we can follow in their footsteps and rally our voices around Mad Max and Furiosa. Mad Max: Fury Road will be our inspiration, our survival guide. I plan to stock up on silver spray paint in preparation.
“Il dolce suono,” Lucia di Lammermoor (aka that song from The Fifth Element, dance floor remix part included)
If you think this song will be lost to the ravages of time then you are sorely mistaken. Like New Kids on the Block, it will always come back. The actual lyrics will be lost, naturally, but I’m sure that post-nuclear-fallout Ariana Grande will finally have that extra oomph needed to imitate the mournful arpeggios and the surprise dance beat.
A six minutes and six seconds track of ceaseless raging, Disturbed
This selection won’t appeal to everyone, but I think enough people will find comfort in a song encouraging them to be vocal in their rage and endless grief at how far we’ve fallen that we can expect to see the unwashed and possibly undead masses scavenging malls looking for Hot Topic artifacts.
“Now I Really Wish I Could Turn Back Time,” Cher
If our future is Cher-less, why even bother. I won’t be surprised when she makes a comeback, like Britney Spears but better. With her fantastic use of emojiis and all caps on Twitter (giving us gems like this and this and really just all of this), her fighting spirit, and truly ridiculous voice, Cher can lead the resistance in fending off the dark forces that threaten us. And, if the ozone layer erodes enough that all the excess exposure to UV radiation manifests as the power to actually turn back time, all the better.
“Angel, Redux,” Sarah Mclachlan
In the future we won’t have time to cry; we’ll be too busy trying to defend basic liberties and our stockpiles of canned goods, but Sarah Mclachlan’s revamp of that tear-jerker ASPCA song will be there to remind humanity that we still have tear ducts.
Who cares what the song is called, we’ve been blessed, Beyoncé
When our need is greatest, when we feel all is truly lost and humanity will be just another footnote on this giant blue marble (a less impressive footnote than the dinosaurs, even), perhaps Beyoncé will choose that moment to throw off her human trappings and take her rightful place as the long-awaited manifestation of All Three Facets of the Triple Goddess at Once. And on this day, we will cancel the apocalypse.
I’d say make sure you’ve got an extra twenty stashed for when this gem of a collection comes out, but by the time Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. Apocalypse is available, we might be back to the barter system. You can probably expect to trade a kidney and maybe a goat for these quality tunes.